3i Group has agreed to acquire Dockwise Transport NV, a Dutch heavy transportation company, from Dutch offshore services company Heerema Group and Norwegian maritime group Wilh Wilhelmsen. The deal is valued at more than $700 million.

ABRY Partners and The Thurston Group have acquired healthcare technology company Companion Technologies Corp. from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. No financial terms were disclosed.

Activa Capital will merge portfolio companies Materne, a French fruit compote and jam business, with Mont Blanc, a French cream dessert business.

Apollo Management has acquired a minority position in Bradco Supply Corp., an Avenel, N.J.-based distributor of roofing materials and complementary building products. No financial terms were disclosed.

Apple Hospitality Two Inc., a REIT focused on the upscale, extended-stay suite segment of the hotel industry, has entered into an exclusive talks to be acquired by ING Clarion Partners. The exclusivity period will last until Feb. 2007.

Avista Capital Partners has agreed to acquire the assets of Phillips Investment Resources LLC, a Rockville, Md.-based provider of subscription-based investment advice, from Phillips International Inc. No financial terms were disclosed.

Balmoral Advisors, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, has acquired Interstate Southwest Ltd., the Navasota, Texas-based custom forging division of Citation Corp. No financial terms were disclosed.

The Blackstone Group may have competition for real estate giant Equity Office, despite already having agreed to what would be the largest leveraged buyout in history. Multiple news reports say that Cerberus, Starwood Capital and Walton Street Capital are seriously considering an offer in excess of $38 billion (including $16 billion in assumed debt), which would top Blackstone’s $36 billion bid. Blackstone has the right to match any superior offer, and also is entitled to a $200 million breakup fee were Equity Office to accept an alternate bid.

Blue Sage Capital has sponsored a management-led buyout of The Primus Sterilizer Co., an Omaha, Neb.-based maker of steam sterilizing equipment for the healthcare, laboratory, pharmaceutical and animal care markets. No financial terms were disclosed.

Blue Wolf Capital Management has completed its acquisition of Pittsburgh-based landfill gas developer Montauk Energy Capital LLC from DQE Financial Corp., a subsidiary of Duquesne Light Holdings Inc. GoldenTree Asset Management provided senior financing.

Buchanan Capital Partners has sponsored a buyout of German logistics company Time:Matters from Lufthansa Cargo. No financial terms were disclosed.

CanWest Global Communications Corp. and GS Capital Partners have agreed to acquire Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. for Cdn$53 per share, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately Cdn$2.3 billion. Alliance Atlantis is a Toronto-based entertainment broadcaster.

The Carlyle Group has raised its bid for Dallas-based roofing and building products company ElkCorp (NYSE: ELK) from $38 per share to $40.50 per share. The move comes after ElkCorp received a $40-per-share offer from Building Materials Corp. of America. The total deal is now valued at around $1.05 billion, including the assumption of $173 million in net debt.

Castle Creek Capital Partners has completed its acquisition of Melbourne, Fla.-based banking company The BankShares Inc. for $43.3 million.

Chrysalis Capital Partners has offered to acquire Malden Mills Industries Inc., a Lawrence, Mass.-based maker of Polartec fleece apparel. The move comes just days after Malden Malls agreed to be acquired by Gordon Brothers Group, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to facilitate the sale. Both offers are worth around $44 million.

Clearview Capital has recapitalized Rowmark Inc., a Findlay, Ohio–based manufacturer and marketer of specialty plastic sheet and related products for the awards/recognition, engraving and signage markets. No financial terms were disclosed.

Crestview Partners has sponsored a management buyout of Munder Capital Management, a Birmingham, Mich.-based money management firm, from Comerica Inc. Grail Partners advised Munder on the deal, and also participated in the equity. Comerica retained full ownership of World Asset Management, the former quantitative and index-oriented investment management division of Munder Capital.

CVC Asia Pacific and Macquarie Bank are considering a bid for Sino-Forest Corp. (TSX:TRE), a Canadian lumber company operating in China, according to Bloomberg. The company’s market cap is approximately $1 billion.

Deutsche Post AG has agreed to sell its waste disposal unit Vfw AG to Monitor Clipper Partners for an undisclosed amount.

DTN Information Services, an Omaha, Neb.-based provider of information services for the agricultural and energy markets, has acquired The Progressive Farmer magazine from Time Inc. No financial terms were disclosed. DTN is a portfolio company of Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

EGL Inc. (Nasdaq: EAGL), a Houston–based freight forwarding company, has received a $36 per share buyout offer from CEO James Crane and private equity firm General Atlantic. The overall transaction would value EGL at approximately $1.2 billion. Crane currently holds an 18% stake, while EGL shares closed trading at $29.78 per share on Dec. 29, 2007.

The Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) reportedly has retained Goldman Sachs to explore strategic options. A buyout of the clothing retailer likely would be in excess of $18 billion, based on a current market value of around $16.4 billion.

Golden Gate Capital

has completed its acquisition of Sierra Systems Group Inc. (TSX: SSG) for Cnd$9.25 per share, or approximately Cnd$93.2 million. Sierra Systems is a Vancouver–based provider of IT and business consulting services to public and private organizations in North America.

Graceway Pharmaceuticals, a Bristol, Tenn.-based drug company owned by GTCR, has completed its $875 million acquisition of 3M‘s pharmaceuticals operations in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Graceway also has subsumed fellow GTCR portfolio company Chester Valley Pharmaceuticals.

GS Capital Partners has agreed to acquire insurance broker USI Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: USIH) for $17 per share. The total transaction is valued at approximately $1.4 billion.

Healthy Foods Holdings, a portfolio company of Catterton Partners, has agreed to acquire CoolBrands Dairy Inc., maker of yogurt products under the Breyers and Creme Savers brands, from CoolBrands International Inc. (TSX: COB.A). No financial terms were disclosed. It also completed its acquisition of Van’s International Foods Inc., a Vernon, Calif.-based maker and marketer of Van’s Waffles.

Hispanic Yellow Pages of America, a platform acquisition portfolio company of Hispania Capital Partners, has completed its acquisitions of Travel Media Northwest Inc. and Hispanic Impact Media Inc., publishers of Spanish-language yellow pages in the Oregon-Washington-Idaho and Utah regions. No financial terms were disclosed.

HSBC Private Equity Middle East has acquired a “significant equity stake” in Flip Media Investments, an interactive marketing agency with offices in both the Middle East and Asia. No financial terms were disclosed.

Inflexion Private Equity has sponsored a £12 million management buyout of Tekton Group, a U.K.-based provider of construction and homebuilding software.

ISIS Equity Partners has sponsored a management buyout of Anglo Irish Trust Company Ltd., an Isle of Man-based provider of offshore trust and company administration services to high net worth individuals, from Anglo Irish Bank PLC. The deal valued AITCL at £33 million, and included £13 million from ISIS.

Jimmy John’s, a Champaign, Ill.-based sandwich shop chain, has received an undisclosed amount of private equity funding from Weston Presidio.

The Jordan Co. has sponsored a recapitalization of Harrington Holdings Inc., a marketer and distributor of healthcare products to managed care beneficiaries, home care supply providers and healthcare professionals. National City’s equity sponsor group served as joint-lead arranger and syndication agent for the senior secured credit facility. No pricing terms were disclosed.

Kayne Anderson Energy Development Co. and Tortoise Capital Resource Corp. have acquired Millennium Midstream Energy LLC and its affiliates, which consist of gathering, processing and pipeline assets in Texas and Louisiana. The deal was done via the creation of a new limited partnership, through which the former owners of MME will own 100% of the general partnership and of the subordinated units. Kayne Anderson made a $47.5 million equity investment, in exchange for a 39% LP interest. In addition, Tortoise and a Wells Fargo company have acquired common LP units, representing a combined 18% stake.

Kinderhook Industries, a New York-based private equity firm, has agreed to acquire restaurant chain Champps Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq:CMPP) for $75 million, plus the assumption of all liabilities and debt. Champps chairman and CEO Michael O’Donnell and CFO David Womack also are participating on the buyout.

Lakeview Equity Partners has acquired Automatan, a Plover, Wis.-based manufacturer of lithographic labeling equipment for the global corrugated packaging industry. No financial terms were disclosed.

Lincolnshire Management has acquired BHS Inc., a provider of trucking services for the oil and gas industry in the Wind River Basin of Wyoming. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which will result in BHS being merged with existing Lincolnshire portfolio company Dalbo. The deal comes just days after Lincolnshire announced another Dalbo add-on: Dawn Trucking Co.

LS Power Equity Partners has agreed to acquire six U.S. natural gas-fired plants from Mirant Corp. (NYSE: MIR) for approximately $1.41 billion.

Macquarie Bank has offered to acquire listed Australian energy transmission leader Alinta for approximately Au6.3 billion.

MCCI Holdings LLC, a Miami, Fla.-based provider of medical management services for managed care organizations, has completed a recapitalization. Participants included Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, Pharos Capital Group and GE Healthcare Financial Services. No financial terms were disclosed.

McDonald’s may put its Boston Market restaurant chain on the auction block, according to comments made by company CEO Michael Andres to employees.

Merck KGaA could receive buyout interest for its generic drugs business from Cinven, Permira and Texas Pacific Group, according to Reuters. Such a sale could generate anywhere from €4 billion to €5.5 billion.

Nycomed AS, a Danish drug company, has completed its acquisition of Altana AG’s pharmaceuticals business for approximately €4.5 billion. Nordic Capital holds a 51 percent stake in Nycomed, with other shareholders including DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, Blackstone Group and AlpInvest.

Oak Hill Capital Partners has agreed to buy Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia from company founder Frank Critz. RCG operates seven outpatient radiotherapy centers for the treatment of prostate cancer.

Onex Healthcare Holdings, a subsidiary of Onex Corp. (TSX: OCX), has agreed to acquire the Health Group of Eastman Kodak Co. (NYSE: EK). The deal includes $2.35 billion in cash at closing, plus up to $200 million in possible milestone payments. Kodak’s Health Group provides molecular imaging systems, medical and dental imaging, including digital x-ray capture, medical printers and x-ray film.

Palladium Equity Partners has completed a $58.3 recapitalization of portfolio company Prince Mineral Holdings Corp., a producer of mineral-based colorants and additives. Patriot Capital Funding provided $23.3 million of junior secured debt and senior subordinated debt. Bank of America and Merrill Lynch Capital each provided $17.5 million of senior debt.

Panorama AS, a Norway-based jewelry retailer controlled by Norvestor Equity, has acquired Gullaren and Ivar T. Holth. No financial terms were disclosed. Gullaren is a jewelry retailer with 42 stores, while Ivar T. Holth is a wholesaler.

Pepper Dining Inc., an affiliate of Olympus Partners, has agreed to acquire 89 Chili’s Grill & Bar restaurants from Brinker International Inc. (NYSE: EAT). No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which also includes plans to Pepper Dining to develop and additional 20 to 44 new franchised Chili’s locations.

Pyramid Breweries Inc. (Nasdaq: PMID) has sold the Thomas Kemper Soda brand to Adventure Funds of Portland, Ore. The deal includes a $3.1 million cash payment, plus a five-year agreement under which Pyramid will continue to manufacture Thomas Kemper Soda at its breweries.

Quadrangle Capital Partners and Morningstar Management have signed a letter of intent to acquire Hargray Communications Group, a Hilton Head, S.C.-based provider of telecom services in southeastern South Carolina and Georgia. No financial terms were disclosed.

The Qualicaps Group, a global supplier of capsules and capsule filling and sealing equipment, has agreed to acquire Pharmaphil Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based manufacturer of empty gelatin capsules. No financial terms were disclosed. Qualicaps is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group.

Renal Advantage Inc., a Brentwood, Tenn.-based provider of dialysis services, has completed its previously-announced acquisition of RenaLab from Fresenius Medical Care North America. No financial terms were disclosed. RenaLab is a Jackson, Miss.-based independent clinical laboratory with administrative offices in Nashville. Renal Advantage is backed by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe.

The Riverside Company has acquired Advanced Information Systems Group, a provider of technology solutions to the provider for the automotive, aerospace and steel industries. No financial terms were disclosed.

Rockwood Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ROC) has completed the sale of its 78.6 percent position in Groupe Novasep subsidiary to Gilde Buyout Partners, Banexi Capital and Groupe Novasep management (which held the remaining 21.4 percent). The deal was valued at approximately €25 million. Groupe Novasep is a France-based provider of technologies and ingredients to the life sciences and specialty chemical markets.

RoadLink USA Inc., a North American provider of intermodal trucking and related logistics services has acquired Transus International LLC, a provider of intermodal trucking services in the southern United States. No financial terms were disclosed, except that Transus has $40 million in annual revenue. RoadLink is a portfolio company of Fenway Partners.

RoundTable Healthcare Partners has completed its acquisition of Advantis Medical Inc., a manufacturer of organizing systems for surgical instruments, implants and medical devices.No financial terms were disclosed. Advantis will be combined with existing RoundTable portfolio company Instrumed International Inc.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (NYSE: SMI), China’s largest chipmaker, said that it has been approached by private equity firms about a possible buyout. It declined to identify the interested suitors. SMIC went public in 2004, after having previously been backed by venture capital firms.

Swett & Crawford, an Atlanta-based wholesale insurance broker, has acquired the assets of Oxbridge Insurance Associates Inc., a Morristown, N.J.-based property and casualty wholesale broker and managing general agent. Swett & Crawford is owned by its employees, HM Capital Partners and Banc of America Capital Investors.

Tonka Bay Equity Partners has acquired All-Flex Inc., a Northfield, Minn.-based manufacturer of custom flexible circuits. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which also included participation by company management and Granite Equity Partners.

Triton Pacific Capital Partners has sponsored a recapitalization of Meridian Behavioral Health Network, a provider of drug, alcohol and mental health services in Minnesota. No financial terms were disclosed.

Tranzact, a Fort Lee, N.J.-based provider of customer acquisition solutions to the financial services and media and telecom sectors, has acquired The Credo Group, a Warminster, Pa.-based provider of e-distribution services to the insurance industry. No financial terms were disclosed. Tranzact is a portfolio company of Halyard Capital.

United Utilities PLC

has agreed to sell its BPO subsidiary Vertex Data Science Ltd. to Oak Hill Capital Partners, GenNx360 Capital Partners and Knox Lawrence International. The total transaction is valued at £217.5 million. The deal is expected to close by the end of March.

Veronis Suhler Stevenson has acquired digital satellite broadcaster The Chart Show Group for an undisclosed amount.

Weinberg Capital Partners has agreed to acquire 60 percent of Sasa Industrie SA, a France-based baking equipment manufacturer, for an enterprise value of €80.7 million.

Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe has agreed to acquire United Surgical Partners International Inc. (Nasdaq:USPI), a Dallas-based owner and operator of short-stay surgical facilities. The total transaction is valued at approximately $1.8 billion, with USPI shareholders receiving $31.05 per share.

Wilks Broadcast Group LLC, a platform acquisition company of The Wicks Group of Cos., has completed its $138 million acquisition of radio stations in Kansas City and Columbus, Ohio from CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS). The stations are: KFKF(FM), KBEQ(FM), KMXV(FM) and KCKC(FM) in Kansas City, and WLVQ(FM), WHOK(FM) and WAZU(FM) in Columbus.